We have been taught to be in a perpetual state of hunger for attainment. We want to be more, achieve more, get better, be wealthy, attain a higher level of influence. I can aver that this is true in my case. I plan to die empty, therefore, I am always looking to be better than I was yesterday. I also realise that life is short, there are no guarantees, and so everyone is essentially in a race against time to do what they have to do before they check out of this realm. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. To be driven is to be eager to self-actualise and contribute value. It’s not a bad thing.
I watch a lot of Crime and Investigation. I have always found the motivation behind crime fascinating—how an individual goes from happy-go-lucky or the regular guy next door—to a criminal mastermind. I am even more drawn to the painstaking effort detectives apply in uncovering who this villain is.
Back when we were kids, we had friends whom we got tired of because they were clueless about boundaries. Sometimes, it was because they never knew when to make themselves scarce—they were too available. They would show up at our doors at odd times and stay for hours until we pretended we had to run an errand or go somewhere. They were our friends, we liked them, but soon that friendship got strained—a consequence of their lack of emotional intelligence. As young as I was then, I understood the unwritten rule: being friends with a person should not translate to choking them with one’s presence. I made a mental note to never be a nuisance to anyone (If I could help it) no matter how close I was to them.
I am not afraid of death. What’s more, I think it’s ridiculous for anyone to be apprehensive about a phenomenon that is inevitable. I became even more comfortable with the idea of not existing anymore when I lost my father a few months ago. It is this acquiescence to the potential visit of the grim reaper that reminds me to not take things too seriously.
“God when?” One of the latest in the endless repertoire of lingos that spring up daily in the social media space. The phrase is expressed as a longing for something— a new status—a change in fortune. Gorgeous photos of an about-to-wed couple, the acquisition of a top of the range car, or a business success announcement are only a few of the events that can evoke this saying.
Back in school, I had friends who always had to be in a romantic relationship. Once their lover broke up with them or they had to do the same thing for some reason, they didn’t know what else to do with themselves, so they said “yes” to the next guy who showed interest. Sometimes, it was because they were wary of appearing undesirable to the opposite sex in an environment where it was the fashionable thing to be coupled up. The pressure to be seen as wanted was real and not everyone could withstand it. Most of the time, however, it was the fear of being alone.
One minute you are all chummy, slapping each other’s backs, and gossiping like best friends, the next minute, there’s a gulf. An inexplicable one occasioned by one person’s decision to sever ties. I had only heard and imagined what it felt like until it happened to me. I had made a new friend (or so I thought), and our relationship was on an upward trajectory. Getting to know each other, hanging out and exchanging phone calls and chats, until one day when they stopped communicating. They not only clam up, but they also hibernated and refused to be reached too.
I call 2019 the mixed bag year. It was a year ladened with a lot of twist and turns; a roller coaster run of days–one minute I would be leading my normal life and minding my business–the next, I would be swooning from yet another dart life throws at me. With the happenings this year, I have become further convinced that life never really gets easier, we just get tougher. And so in that spirit, and in the spirit of my yearly tradition, I’ll be sharing five lessons 2019 taught me. I hope it’s helpful to someone out there.